Monday, September 16, 2013
Week 2: Rams rookie review
By Nick Wagoner
ATLANTA -- A look at playing time and performance of each of the St. Louis Rams' drafted rookies and a quick glimpse at the undrafted rookie class:
WR Tavon Austin, first round, No. 8 overall: It was a roller coaster of a day for Austin, who caught his first two NFL touchdowns. He had six catches for 47 yards, but he also had a few drops. Austin added two rushes for 8 yards and four punt returns for 6 yards. All told, Austin played 58 offensive snaps (75 percent) and seven more on special teams. So far, it’s been difficult for Austin to find room to operate, though he narrowly missed a catch on a deep ball in the second quarter.
LB Alec Ogletree, first round, No. 30 overall: Ogletree continued to make strides in his return to his home state, leading the team in tackles with eight according to unofficial press box statistics. He also had a tackle for loss and two passes defended. He’s been better than expected against the run so far but still has plenty of room to grow. Clearly the Rams trust him as he was on the field for 63 snaps (98 percent). The only snap he missed came from an apparent equipment malfunction. He also played two special-teams snaps.
S T.J. McDonald, third round, No. 71 overall: Like Ogletree, McDonald has earned the trust of the Rams coaching staff as he continues to start and play often. He finished with three tackles in unofficial press box stats on what was a quiet day for him. He played all 64 snaps on defense and nine more on special teams.
WR Stedman Bailey, third round, No. 92 overall: Bailey got his first career action on offense, coming in for a snap when the Rams went to a five-receiver look. But Bailey was not targeted. He had some good and some bad on special teams, coming up with a perfectly timed tackle on punt coverage (one of two special-teams stops on the day) but negated that work with a pair of penalties that cost the Rams 20 yards of field position. All told, he played 18 snaps on special teams and four on offense.
OL Barrett Jones, fourth round, No. 113 overall: Jones was a pregame inactive and did not play. He remains behind Tim Barnes as the team’s interior swingman.
CB Brandon McGee, fifth round, No. 149 overall: McGee’s duties were limited strictly to special teams, where he played 17 snaps and did not register any statistics.
RB Zac Stacy, fifth round, No. 160 overall: The return of Isaiah Pead from suspension and the importance of Chase Reynolds and Benny Cunningham on special teams left Stacy as the odd man out against the Falcons. He joined Jones as a pregame inactive.
Undrafted rookie roundup: Cunningham got his first work beyond special teams, logging seven offensive snaps and a pair of carries for zero yards. He played 11 snaps on special teams and continued in his role as kick returner with limited success. … Linebackers Ray Ray Armstrong and Daren Bates continue to be active on special teams with each putting in 23 snaps. The duo was terrific last week on coverage but not as active this week and Armstrong picked up a penalty for an illegal block above the waist.